Union Executive

Context:

  • The organ of a government that primarily looks after the function of implementation and administration is known the Executive.
  • The Executive is the branch of Government accountable for the implementation of laws and policies legislated by the legislature.
  • In the Parliamentary form of executive, the Prime Minister is the head of the government and the head of the State may be Monarch (Constitutional Monarchy, e.g. UK) or President (Parliamentary Republic, e.g. India).
  • In a Semi-Presidential System, the President is the head of the State and the Prime Minister is the head of the government, e.g. France.
  • In a Presidential System, the President is the head of the State as well as the head of government, e.g. the US.

Indian System

  • Article 74 (1) of the Indian Constitution states that “there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President who shall in the exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice.”
  • The President has a wide range of power including executive, legislative, judicial, and emergency powers. However, in a parliamentary system (e.g. India), these powers are in reality used by the President only on the advice of the Council of Ministers.
  • The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers have support of the majority in the Lok Sabha and they are the real executive.
  • The President is the formal head of the government.
  • The Prime Minister is obliged to furnish all the information that the President may call for.
  • The Council of Ministers is headed by the Prime Minister.
  • In the parliamentary form of executive, it is essential that the Prime Minister has the support of the majority in the Lok Sabha. And the moment the Prime Minister loses this support of the majority; he or she loses the office.
  • In case no party is in majority, a few parties can form government ‘in coalition.’
  • A Prime Minister has to be a Member of Parliament (MP); however, if someone becomes the Prime Minister without being an MP; in such as case, he or she has to get elected to the Parliament within six months of period.
  • The Council of Ministers constitutes not more than 15 percent of a total number of members of the House of the People (91st Amendment).
  • Persons selected by the Union Public Service Commission for Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) constitute the backbone of the higher level bureaucracy in the States.
  • Though IAS and IPS work under the state government, they are appointed by the central government; hence, only the central government can take disciplinary action against them. However, the officers appointed through the State Public Service Commission look after the state administration.